Cotton Candy: A History

Posted on by Jack Johnson

The only thing that attracts the kids more than fun rides at a carnival or in an amusement park is the cotton candy. Its stringy and fibrous texture makes it a unique treat amongst the other sweet treats. 

 People have been making sweets out of sugar for thousands of years, but cotton candy came into being only recently. Prior to the modern-day cotton candies, there used to be sweet gold rings resembling molten glass in appearance and were developed by European Chefs. They could be shaped into anything and used to sell mainly because of their interesting shapes. Cotton Candies were made when the sugar industry advanced. 

The first electrical cotton candy machine was invented in 1897 by William Morrison and John C. Wharton, the candy makers from Nashville. They introduced the cotton candy to the audience at 1904 St. Louis World's Fair as Fairy Floss for the first time. They managed to keep the patent of the machine to themselves for a year and then started selling the machines to local and neighborhood candy stores. There have been improvements in the design of machine and to increase reliability, because early cotton candy machines rattled and broke down constantly, but the concept remained the same. In the 1920s fairy floss was renamed to Cotton Candy.

Due to the lack of automated machines that could produce enough products for widespread distribution prior to the 1970s, cotton candy was only produced on a small scale. Then, in 1972, a cotton candy machine for automatic manufacture and packaging was patented. It allowed the mass production of cotton candy. Tootsie Roll of Canada Ltd., the world's largest cotton-candy manufacturer, makes a fluffy stuff, fruit-flavored version of cotton candy.

Now, cotton candy is available in many different flavors including banana, raspberry, vanilla, watermelon, and chocolate. Both artificial and natural flavors may be used to produce these flavors.

The National Cotton Candy Day is celebrated on December 7 in the USA.

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